Do you feel like you've been in a studio rut lately? Have you been using the same pedal boxes and effects for what seems like a lifetime? If your music is starting to sound a little monotonous, perhaps it's time to you ignite your creative spark again by using a new effect pedal.
If you've been searching for a creative studio companion that can accompany you on your musical journey and take you to new sonic heights, I'd recommend test driving one the new MoogerFoogers pedals. Whether you're looking for a high-quality analog delay, or rich sounding effects that you can play like instruments, I think you'll be very satisfied with the results that you'll be able to create with this amazing family of pedals.
MoogerFoogers are direct descendents of the original modular Moog synthesizers. Designed and built under Bob Moog's direction, their state of the art analog circuitry produces a wide spectrum of rich, warm analog sounds. The MoogerFoogers’ exceptional sound quality is matched by their timeless good looks and versatility. Each effect module is housed in a rugged steel and hardware enclosure, and all of the MoogerFoogers are available in black or white.
In this article, I'll guide you through two of my favorite MoogerFoogers, the MF-104M Analog Delay and the MF-102 Ring Modulator, and I'll give you a few examples on how you can creatively use both these effects.
MF-104M Analog Delay
The MF-104M is a truly amazing analog delay; it can magically transform any audio source, including synths, guitars, theremins, or any other audio you'd like to try processing through it. The left half of the Delay represents the original Moog 104 Delay, and the right-hand side includes additional new LFO features that allow you to modulate the delay time, and create some truly unique sounds.
The front panel features controls for Delay and the LFO panel. On the Delay side, you can adjust the delay and feedback time, and select either a short or long delay. In the center of the pedal, you'll find controls for adjusting your drive, (your input level), output level and mix. On the right-hand side, the LFO features six wave shapes: sine, triangle, square, ramp, reverse ramp and random, as well as rate and amount controls. Along the bottom of the Delay, you'll find switches for Tap Tempo and Bypass. Like the rest of the delay's construction, these switches are high quality, and are built to withstand the rigors of the road.
The MF-104M gives you MIDI control of every feature and function (including LFO time), which makes it a great tool for both studio and live applications. On the back panel, you'll find an audio input, and CV inputs for feedback, time, LFO rate, mix and LFO amount. You'll also find a mix out, delay out and +9V power source jack. For those of you who like to experiment, there's also a feedback insert, which allows you to insert another effect on the feedback loop.
The MF-104M is easy to incorporate into your setup; you simply plug in, power up and can immediately use it to add depth and character to your sound.
The delay can be played like an instrument; if you take the time to explore the time, feedback, rate and amount controls, I think you'll find a whole new world of potential sonic territory. It's worth noting that you can also use a Moog EP-2 expression pedal to control any of the control voltage inputs on the MF-104M, and use the expression pedal to achieve your desired effect.
Here's a couple of ways you can creatively use the MF-104M:
- On Your Guitar: The MF-104 makes a great addition to any guitarist's pedal board. You can use delay to thicken up your tone, or for slapback echoes. Additionally, the Feedback insert allows you to patch in your other outboard effects or stomp boxes onto the delay line for even more creative flexibility.
- MIDI: One area this Delay really excels in is in the area of MIDI integration. Try incorporating analog delay into your studio productions, and set up a dedicated MIDI controller for the Delay. You can use MIDI to control all of the front panel features, and many more, including a bright/dark filter, and pitch bend.
Ring Modulator MF-102
Moog's MF-102 is a direct descent of the original modulator Moog synthesizers. It produces a classic analog ring modulator effect, and has an oscillator that can control the volume of your sounds at an ultra high frequency. You can use this unique effect to produce side bands, harmonics and cool robotic, metallic sounds.
For those of you who are curious to learn how this effect works, a ring modulator is a special type of amplitude modulation. It has two inputs and one output, and produces a complex waveform that is equal to the sum and difference of the waveforms that are applied to the input. Moog's ring modulator contains three modular functions – a ring modulator, a carrier oscillator, and a voltage controlled dual-waveform LFO.
On the left-hand side of the ring modulator, you'll find an LFO, with controls for the amount, rate and a switch to select between square and sine wave. The right hand side houses the modulator, with controls for (wet/dry) mix, frequency and a hi/low switch.
All performance parameters are voltage-controllable, which means that you can use expression pedals, a MIDI-to-CV converter, or any other source of control voltages to play your MF-102.
On the back of the Ring Modulator, you'll find Audio In/Audio Out, CV Inputs for Rate, Amount, Mix, and Frequency. There's also LFO Out, Carrier In and Carrier Out.
Creative Uses for the Ring Modulator:
- Try using the ring modulator with your electric guitar. Sweep through the mix and frequency to discover a whole range of metallic sounds. Go down to the low range, and try creating a tremolo stutter effect. How to setup: Audio out from your guitar into the Audio Input on the Ring Modulator. Audio Out on Ring Modulator goes into the Input on your Amp.
- Use the MF-102 to create unique vocal effects, and add an original 'signature' element to your tracks. How to setup: In your studio, take an Audio Out from your sound card, and connect it to the Audio In on the Ring Modulator. Take the Audio Out of the Ring Modulator, and connect it to an Audio Input on your sound card.
In your digital audio workstation (DAW), make sure you route the output from your vocal track to the same output that is connected to the Ring Modulator. Create a new track inside your DAW to record the effected vocals on; set the input on the track to the channel with the Ring Modulator vocals, then arm, and record.
Those are just a few ideas on how you can use the MoogerFooger pedals together with your musical arsenal. I'd highly recommend this great line of effects to musicians who'd like to experiment and expand their sonic palette. Here's hoping you have fun on your journey towards creating new, out of this world sounds!